Sports Sunday Correspondent
A four-run third inning gave Cameron a lift that carried the Aggies to a 7-5 baseball victory Friday against the Hillcats of Rogers State University.
It was the season opener for RSU and the first to be played at the Hillcats' new on-campus field at the baseball-softball complex. The two teams also squared off in a doubleheader on Saturday.
Friday’s temperature was in the mid-30s and the opponent was a defending conference champion. Still the cry of "Play Ball!" sounded good for coach Ron Bradley and his Hillcats.
Down by five runs going into the bottom of the eighth, RSU staged a three-run rally. The tying runs were on base when the third out was made.
Cameron, the Lone Star Conference North Division champion last season, scored the game's first runs with two outs in the third. Three singles, a walk and a hit batter produced the run total. The last two were unearned due to an infield error.
Brent Hill, a 26-year-old righthander back on the diamond after a four-year absence, retired the first eight Aggies. This came thanks to a pair of double plays, the first started by the pitcher.
The Hillcats answered Cameron's rally by coming back with a pair of runs in their half of the third.
Verdigris product Andrew Sherman, on base with a leadoff double to right field, scored with ease as Greg Speed followed with a triple to the right field corner. A junior from Ontario, Speed raced home as Tim Gwartney grounded out to first.
The Aggies opened the fifth with a pair of doubles and went up 5-2.
Bradley changed pitchers and brought in Matt York. The Claremore lefthander retired the next three batters.
York remained on the mound through the next three innings. Cameron added single runs in the seventh and eighth.
Running out of time and with the temperature falling, the Hillcats added a run in the eighth. Blake Hollingsworth started it with a walk and Eric Bunch followed with a single. With one out, Ryan Salsburg was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Pinch-hitter Brett Hollingsworth beat out an infield hit and pushed home his brother from third. Two more scored on a single by Sherman.
Approximately 25 fans braved the elements and were on hand for the first pitch. The crowd more than doubled as the two-hour, 35-minute contest continued.
Bevan Anderson was the winning pitcher. He threw the first six innings and allowed two runs on four hits.
Hill took the loss, giving up five runs and seven hits. Two of the runs were unearned.
Next home game for the Hillcats will be Tuesday against USAO. Game time is 1 p.m.
CAMERON 7, ROGERS 5
Cameron 004 010 110 — 7 11 1
Rogers State 002 000 030 — 5 7 3
Anderson, Griggs (6) and Walbrick. Hill, York (5), Walker (9) and Schulz. W — Anderson. L — Hill.